Having sighed and dragged herself through the reception area to the same old teachers’ room yet again, Lisa Durnham, 46 has overheard you and Rob discussing taking a DELTA and has butted in on your conversation.

“Why wouldn’t you?” she challenges, hoping to get a precious minute or two of conversation before she has to prepare for a three-hour private TOEFL class with Muhammad Akbar, who doesn’t understand subject-verb agreement but is planning to start a Master’s degree in Perth in September. “When you think of the opportunities it can open up. The world of TESOL is your oyster once you’ve got your DELTA.”

Hearing you say that you might give it another year, that you’re not totally sure you’re going to stick with teaching she frowns in surprise. “What’s not to be sure about?” she asks you. “The opportunity to go anywhere in the world and make a difference in people’s lives?”

Her face falls as she opens her cupboard and a sheaf of unmarked IELTS writing tests flops onto the floor. Exhaling through her nose, she stoops down and picks them up, banging her head on the open cupboard door on the way up.

“Is the photocopier working today?” she asks you.

Upon hearing that it isn’t (Karen has called IT support but they have team-building) she grinds her teeth and looks at the ceiling.

Stamping her foot and shaking her head she makes her way to the door of Karen’s office to give Karen a piece of her mind.

As she reaches the door, she stops and turns back to you.

“But, yeah, you should definitely do a DELTA. Best decision I ever made.”

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